With six more days until What Next Ohio, I am presented with a paradox. Dustin Knell remains somewhat of an enigma for me. Obviously, this is my own shortcoming as he plays shows all over the city and is widely respected in our community. Yet, I relish the opportunity to go into a DJs set with a relatively blank slate. WIthout any frame of reference, all possibilities are opened for that set and the artist is able to come at me with whatever he wants. This is relatively rare in our day and age. My paradox is how do I frame someone that I have no frames for. I could offer up some hasty conclusions on this artist based on cursory listening to some songs, or I could provide you with the materials you need to get ready for his set and let you know what intrigues me about the artist. I am deciding on the latter, because from what I have heard I am certainly very interested in Knell’s approach and sound.
What I first want to present to you is a mix Knell created for Sweatin’ back in August:
This mix is so interesting in its diversity of sounds and tracks. From minimal bass to interesting techno loops, Knell certainly has a diverse sonic pallette that he likes to deploy in his sets. I especially enjoy his devotion to rhythm, as his style diverges from the formulaic build drop model and explores other avenues of music expression. Outside of this mix, Knell’s soundcloud shows active production work that showcases the artists drive to find his own sound. Take these two most recent tracks “But You Don’t Make Me Feel The Way”
and “Feels So Good”
Both of these tracks find Knell playing with tempo and sound in ways I find really appealing. If this is any indication of what he plans to do saturday then we are all in for an amazing experience where none of us really knows where it will go. But let’s get him to explain what he has got in store for us himself:
LA: If someone has never heard you spin, how would you describe your sound?
DK: My favorite type of sets to play are ones where i’m free to play classic house and deeper cuts. While this is where I feel most comfortable I also have to take into consideration the type of event i’m playing. If i’m playing an event with other dj’s that lean on the dubstep side than i’ll most likely be playing some UK bass music as to not take away from the general vibe of the event. I also really enjoy playing 80/160bpm sets (especially if i’m spinning with Burgle) which usually range from juke and footwork to jungle and even 90’s r&b. The bpm range allows you to get real creative with your mixing.
LA: What does being a part of the Ohio Electronic Music scene mean to you?
DK: Being a part of this scene for a while has been great! I’ve met and befriended many great people in only a few years and couldn’t be happier.
LA: What do you think about the What Next Ohio Music Showcase?
DK: I think it’s a great opportunity for some of these artists to get some big exposure that’s well deserved and long overdue. Also very proud to be onboard next to some of my favorite djs.
LA: What kinda set are you gonna play? Do you have any surprises in store for the crowd?
DK: One of my biggest pet peeves in the dj community would have to be opening dj’s that don’t understand that you can’t play peak hour tracks at 10pm. Keeping this in mind I have no surprises in store for the crowd but I do intend on warming the night up with plenty of good vibes.
Want more of Dustin Knell? Get at his Soundcloud HERE.